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Our assignment was to design a poster for the Big Cat Rescue Sanctuary which would make people aware of the plight of lions in the wild and how their population has been cut in half. Their numbers are down to only about 20,000 due to trophy hunting, bushmeat poaching, conflicts with locals, and loss of habitat. As one of the world’s largest accredited sanctuaries for exotic cats, Big Cat Rescue is a leading advocate for ending the abuse of captive big cats and saving wild cats from extinction. They provide a home for over 100 abandoned, abused and orphaned exotic cats (such as lions, tigers, cougars, bobcats, and many more species.) They also give guided tours of their facility and, in the process, try to educate people on what they can do to help.
We created a dramatic image of a lion in a guillotine who is about to have his head chopped off, and we associated this with current day trophy hunting and poaching in Africa. We purposely designed the poster to have a unique shape that would get people’s attention. So, we made it really long and skinny (2 ft. wide by 5 ft. tall) to best represent the look of an actual guillotine. We hoped this brutal image (done in a line engraving style to match the guillotine era of the late 1700s) would shock people and get them to visit BigCatAct.com. Here they’d learn about the importance of supporting the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which will save wild lions and other big cats from being killed or exploited for a profit.
This compelling poster is generating a lot of buzz and sympathy for the “king” of the jungle. It has helped bring more attention to the plight of lions in Africa and definitely raised awareness about the dire situation that they face in the wild. As a result, we’ve gained more support for the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which is the most important piece of legislation ever introduced to protect exotic wild cats.